§ 30. Mr. Lipson
asked the Minister of Health whether he will take steps to extend the provisions of the Rent Restrictions Act so as to provide protection against exorbitant rents to tenants of furnished premises?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I would refer my hon. Friend to Sections 9 and 10 of the Rent Restrictions Act, 1920, and to the First Schedule to the Act of 1939, and to the circulars, of which I am sending him copies, in which I have asked local authorities to make full use of these powers.
§ Mr. Lipson
Is my right hon. Friend aware that when tenants of furnished flats complain to the local authorities they are given notice to quit and the local authorities have no power to protect them in any way? Will he consider the matter?
§ Mr. Brown
I could not accept that general statement of fact. Local authorities have power to prosecute those charging exorbitant rents. They have been active and taken my advice in a large 1686 number of cases. I set up a small subcommittee to deal specially with the matter, and a large number of cases have been investigated. Many rents have been reduced by negotiation, and in the majority of cases where prosecution has been necessary penalties have been imposed.
§ Mr. Lipson
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether tenants have been given notice to quit the premises because of information furnished to the local authority?